(Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC) NASCAR has recently announced that A.J. Sanders of Mocksville will be crowned as the Division IV National Champion for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Sanders’s performance in 2014 topped competitors from all over the nation, a feat which he credits to competing at Bowman Gray Stadium.
“I’m still just letting it all sink in,” said Sanders about the title. “I’m the one getting the award, but there were several people from Bowman Gray Stadium and from other states who could have beat me easily. I’m just the lucky one that gets to be honored.”
The championship points are decided by taking a driver’s 14 best finishes in NASCAR sanctioned events and awarding two points for every car they finish ahead of – up to 18 cars. Three bonus points are given for a victory, with an additional two points if a victory came after
starting 10th or worse in a race.
“I won this championship, I feel like, because of Bowman Gray Stadium – because of the car count there,” said Sanders. Racing against more competitors led to more points in the national title, he points out.
And in an ironic twist, the key to Sanders’s national championship was initially a great source of frustration: “It’s funny in a way, because earlier in the year we were complaining about drawing a start of 13th or 15th – every week I was starting in the back. And now, that’s what
helped me win the national championship with the bonus points you get from starting 10th or worse,” said Sanders. “You don’t look at it at the time like that. But now I look at it like that’s what I want to do – start 10th or worse every time.”
Over the course of Bowman Gray Stadium’s 2014 season, Sanders racked up six wins with 10 top-five finishes. Trouble on double points nights – which don’t factor into the National title – kept him ranked second in the Traffic Control Safety Services Stadium Stock Series points standings at Bowman Gray Stadium. Yet, it’s still hard to say that his season was anything less than impressive.
From fairly early in the battle for the National title, Sanders had the crown on his mind. “Halfway through the season I looked and was fifth. I thought that we’ve got a shot to win this this thing,” said Sanders, who will receive the championship award during the NASCAR
Whelen All American Series banquet on Friday, December 12.
“I was blown away by how nice the awards banquet looks like it will be, and I’m honored,” said Sanders. “It’s been a great year.”
-Bowman Gray Stadium Press Release. Photo Credit: Eric Hylton Photography.